Grimm: ‘When you’re wrong, you’re wrong’

January 29
Rep.  Michael Grimm, R-N.Y. (Photo By Tom Williams/Roll Call via Getty Images)
Rep.  Michael Grimm, R-N.Y. (Photo By Tom Williams/Roll Call via Getty Images)

Updated 1:32 p.m.

Rep. Michael Grimm (R-N.Y.), who angrily confronted a New York television reporter after the State of the Union Tuesday evening told reporters Wednesday that he has apologized and regrets his actions.

Grimm said he called NY1 television reporter Michael Scotto to apologize "and he accepted my apology and we’re going to go to lunch and we’ll put it all behind us.”

Grimm initially defended his behavior Tuesday evening after video showed the lawmaker confronting the reporter. NY1 footage of the incident shows the Staten Island congressman ending an interview with Scotto after the reporter asked him about allegations of campaign finance wrongdoing that have been the subject of a federal probe for several years.

Grimm rebuffed the question, saying he would only discuss the State of the Union. But moments later, Grimm returned and, with the cameras rolling, confronted Scotto.

"Let me be clear to you, you ever do that to me again I'll throw you off this f***ing balcony," Grimm said, adding later: "You're not man enough, you're not man enough. I'll break you in half. Like a boy."

On Wednesday morning, Grimm said he acted out because of “a combination of a long day, fighting for flood insurance all day, the fact that I ran to the Cannon Rotunda and was out of breath, that’s all.”

The Senate is currently debating a flood insurance bill that Republicans have threatened to block. Grimm and other lawmakers across the country are pushing to pass the legislation in order to help communities devastated by recent storms and flooding. Parts of Grimm's district still haven't been rebuilt since Hurricane Sandy hit the region in 2012.

“I’m a human being and sometimes your emotions get the better of you and the bottom line, though, is it shouldn’t happen, you shouldn’t lose your cool and that’s why I apologized. When you’re wrong, you’re wrong, you have to admit it and it shouldn’t have happened," Grimm added.

Grimm made his comments Wednesday morning after voting for a new five-year farm bill that passed the House. After the vote, he emerged and spoke with awaiting reporters, who followed him into the Capitol basement and into the tunnels headed back towards his office in the Cannon Building.

As reporters continued pressing him for more information on the ongoing federal investigation and whether he had spoken to GOP leaders about his confrontation with Scotto, Grimm stopped them.

“I’m going to conclude this interview now, I do appreciate it. You’re tenacious reporters," he said.

Michael Steel, a spokesman for House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) later said in a statement that "Rep. Grimm has apologized, and the Speaker believes that was appropriate.”

Watch video of the exchange between Grimm and Scotto below:

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